The Angels have floated the idea of a 10-year, $350 million extension for center fielder Mike Trout, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Saturday. Rosenthal clarifies that it’s not yet clear whether the Angels formally extended the offer to Trout or whether they’ve even broached the subject of an extension recently. Real or hypothetical, however, it would be the most lucrative deal in the history of Major League Baseball.
Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that Trout isn’t going to accept that kind of contract offer from the club. Per FanGraphs, the two-time AL MVP and seven-time All-Star has forked over 64.7 Wins Above Replacement during his last eight years in Anaheim, and it’s hardly hyperbolic to call him the best player in the game — no matter which metric you use to measure his accomplishments. Barring serious injury or inexplicable decline, he figures to be among the most valuable players in the league for years to come, too. For that reason, it seems plausible that Trout will elect to test the market upon reaching free agency in 2021, and there’s no question that he’ll be in line for a far bigger raise than the ones Bryce Harper and Manny Machado scored this winter.
Should Trout find some common ground with the Angels before then, Rosenthal adds that it “would not seem unreasonable” if he did so to the tune of a 10-year, $400 deal, with an average annual value of $40 million/year. In fact, that may well be the starting point for negotiations, especially taking into account Trout’s immense value (just over $493 million, via FanGraphs) to the organization over the last near-decade.
What’s unclear, then, is how the 27-year-old feels about the possibility of another lengthy extension in Anaheim. Speaking to reporters Friday, he avoided any specific statements concerning current or future negotiations with the team. From MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger:
I haven’t even thought about it,” Trout said. “Obviously, you guys [the media] bring it up a lot and I appreciate you asking me all these questions, but right now is not the time to think about it. I still have two years. […] In Spring Training, you’re trying to get ready for the start of the season, and you don’t want to worry about anything else. That’s the mindset right now, and we’ll go from there. […] I haven’t really thought about it. I’m happy with what [Bryce Harper and Manny Machado] got. They obviously wanted that and we’ll go from there. Like I said, I don’t think about that stuff.
Trout may not be close to making any kind of decision just yet, but one thing is certain: Whether or not he ends up in Anaheim on a long-term basis, his next contract will be one for the record books.